4 Symptoms of Jade Plant Overwatering & Top Remedies

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Just like the vast majority of succulent plants, jade plants are prone to overwatering. Understanding the symptoms and how to address them will help you make sure your jade plant thrives, and won’t rot in excessive water. Let me list the symptoms first, and then we will look at each one in more detail. So the most common symptoms of an over-watered jade plant are:

  • Yellow leaves,
  • Soft leaves that start to  drop.
  • Root rot

Excessive water over a prolonged period of time will hurt jade plants. As a grower, one of your main jobs is to make sure that you spot the symptoms early, and take action to remedy the issue, and save your plant. Before we look at the remedies, let me explain the symptoms a bit in detail, so you do not misdiagnose the problem of your plant.

Related: Do Jade Plants Need Drainage?

Symptom no. 1: Yellowing of leaves

The yellowing of leaves is a natural process. It is normal for them to turn yellow when they get old and about to be replaced. The only difference is that over-watered jade plants show more and more yellow leaves. If it happens, it is a clear suggestion that your plant gets more water than it can sustain.

Why do the leaves turn yellow? Well, it happens primarily due to root rot. Unhealthy roots and stems aren’t able to transfer the nutrient to reach different parts of the plants. As a result, the plant struggles to thrive, and the leaves change color. However, it is also important to remember that sometimes, under-watering, pest infestation,and inappropriate temperatures can also cause yellowing of leaves. That’s why you should check also for other symptoms, making sure you do not blame the wrong cause here.


Symptom no. 2: Leaves are dropping

It is normal for the jade plant to drop some leaves. However, when over-watered, you may notice many leaves dropping every week, and that’s a clear indication that your plants experiences severe distress, and most likely it is over-watering. 


Symptom no. 3: Leaves soften

Jade plants have firm leaves, as long as they are healthy. When the leaves become soft, it is always an indication of some problem, and over-watering is one of the issues that triggers softening of leaves. Not surprisingly,too much water causes root rot in succulent plants, and the leaves will soften, lacking what they need.

However, similarly to yellowing of leaves, dehydration can also be the cause of leaves softening. If you want to make sure over-watering caused the problem, check the soil. If it is too wet and the roots are soft, no doubt this is the problem you are dealing with, and you need to take action to save your plant.


Symptom no. 4: Drying of leaves

When the roots don’t function properly, leaves will lack nutrients and will start to dry. However, lack of water can also cause the leaves to dry. That being said, you can easily tell the difference. just like with the previous symptom, you simply check the moisture of soil, either manually, or with the help fo a moisture meter. If the soil is wet, over-watering is likely to blame for the drying of leaves. If the soil is super dry, the plant is dehydrated.


Guide on reviving an over-watered jade plant

Over-watered jade plant can be revived. Just like with any other problem in life, however, early indication is the key here. If the issue is too severe and the rooting system has been damaged to a huge extend, you may not be able to save the plant.  But if you sill have some time, you should follow the steps I describe below.


Step no. 1: Remove the existing soil

The soil is likely waterlogged, and any attempt to dry it will fail, or it will take too much time and the plant won’t be saved. Hence the best idea is to simply change it. Before repotting the jade plant into new dry soil, make sure that the wet soil is completely removed from the roots of the plant.

I do not recommend using the same pot again even the soil is replaced. I prefer to change both soil and pot to ensure that the plant is safe. Sure enough you do not have to throw away the old pot. Just clean it properly, let it dry, make sure no pests are inside, and then you can use it for another succulent or another plant in general.


Step no. 2: Remove the affected roots

I suggest you to prune (remove) the most affected roots. Use a clean and sharp cutting tool to avoid additional stress to the plant. When cutting the rotting roots, make sure to remove every affected part–because it is dead already, and leaving it on the plant won’t help it in any way. You know that you got to the right spot when you see the center of the root is entirely white. If you cut the root and see the center is black or brown, keep cutting until the white core emerges. Because black and brown roots are those that have already rotten.. ,

Step no. 3:Place the Jade plant to a new pot

After securing the remaining healthy roots, you can now repot the plant. The first thing I do in a situation like this is to pick the right pot for my plant. It should have an appropriate size. A perfect pot gives jade plant comfort and good aeration and also a good space for the plant to grow.

The second thing to consider is fast-draining soil. Inappropriate soil is one factor that contributes to overwatering. This time you want to make sure that you choose the right soil to avoid the same problem again (click here to check my recommended soil on Amazon).

After you’ve done the job, do not water your jade plant for several days. Only give water when the plant seems to have already recovered or when the soil is completely dry. But again, remember that too much water can harm the plant…

Final thoughts

Over-watering can kill jade plants, just like it can kill almost any other succulent. But the good news is that before your plants die, there is something you can do to save them. All you need to do is to watch out for over-watering symptoms, such as yellowing of leaves, softening and dropping of leaves, and root rot.

Once you notice the signs of over-watering, take immediate action. Remember that the earlier you intervene, the better your chances of saving the plant… I hope the tips I shared with you in this post will help you save your jade plant, and thank you for reading!

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